First Attempt at European Style Nymphing…was a Fail.

We got up early and drove to the river, arriving by 0700. It was 46F and we could see our breath as we geared up to fish. We started the outing surrounded by cows and a curious bull. After several attempts to run them off, we finally succeeded.

The river was a foot higher than last weekend due to the rains. It crested at a little over 14 feet on Wednesday and was at 8.25 feet when we stepped in.

This wasn’t there last weekend.

I decided to only take my Syndicate P2 ESN rod and give that method a solid go. After 3.5 hours and losing two smallmouth I needed a break. I felt like I failed at Euro nymphing even after trying multiple configurations and flies. I definitely have some homework to do.

I tied up a leader late last night and it worked OK. I was able to cast pretty well after about 15 minutes with me untangling my flies twice before I figured it out. I just never felt that I could get my nymphs/jigs down deep enough so I need to do more research. The current was much stronger than last weekend for sure.

Mrs. Velox Seeker opted not to wade across because she felt it was outside her comfort level so she stayed close to shore which limited her fishing. If I’m being honest, I don’t blame her. Wading back upstream was a struggle for me and I was out of breath when I came ashore.

Fishing some pools

After a quick snack and sip of water, I grabbed her spinning rod and put on one of those new 4.5 gram jigheads we just bought and waded across the river. First cast and I hooked a decent smallmouth. They were hugging the bottom near the edges of the gravel bars and would attack from there. It was cool to see them surge up and hit the lure. That’s why I wanted to increase the weight of the jigs we were using. I needed something to drop deep in current and these worked. After Euro nymphing for 3.5 hours and not bringing anything to hand…this was a nice confidence boost. I caught 3 more good smallmouth before handing the rod back over to my wife and returning to the Euro nymphing rod. She attempted to wade out to that spot but the current repulsed her and she came back. It is a combination of the flow rate and the gravel under your feet being swept away with each step. It can be a little unnerving to those who don’t wade a lot. Not to mention, she doesn’t weigh as much as I do.

Yes, I cheated.

We each fished for another hour or so and decided to call it a day. Total catch for the day was 6 with three of them being decent. I love testing theories and trying new things. It helps when you’re proven right 😉 We both got a good workout and are already feeling the results of the exertion. But it’s a good kind of pain.

And of course, we have more storms coming tonight and tomorrow. May is always a rainy month in Oklahoma so we are not optimistic about our chances for going fishing.

Thanks for reading!

2 Comments

  1. darrelln09 says:

    Cloudy water after a rain really sucks for fishing! Good effort though as there’s usually only one way to learn a new technique.

    To get my nymphs down in fast water, I pinch on at least a BB-size split-shot halfway between my point fly and the knot of my tag dropper. With a heavy split-shot, you are essentially tightening it instead of your flies. Your point fly bounces behind it and your dropper fly dangles above it. When doing that though, it really helps to keep your tag dropper short so it won’t reach the split shot and catch it. It still does sometimes though.

    As far as casting, I really don’t do much of it if I can get alongside the riffle. I just flop-cast upstream, pointing my rod tip at where the flies land, lead my flies downstream, do a short lift at the end of the drift to raise my flies to the surface, and then repeat all that after moving a few feet closer or laterally. I do strip in some line and raise my rod tip a little when the flies approach me, and then reverse that process to let out the line and lower my rod tip as the flies travel further downstream. That will keep your line tight through the drift. Hope all that helps a little. I had a coach on my first try so I was very lucky.

    Like

    1. veloxseeker says:

      Great info! I will definitely try the split shot. And a “flop cast” is an accurate description so I guess I got that part right. And as you mentioned on the line stripping and rod tip action, I was having to do that as well. Seemed kind of intuitive in a way. A coach would be nice but I’ll keep getting out there and giving it a go. I had fun and learned a lot so I consider it a good day. Take care, Jeff

      Liked by 1 person

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